Wins for Bosham, Lavant and 15-goal Wheatsheaf all feature in our latest round-up from the West Sussex League.
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Bosham 7 Newtown Villa 3
Bosham striker Graeme Dowden grabbed four goals as a rampant Bosham side came from behind to rout Newtown Villa.
Both teams started nervously at Walton Lane but built in confidence as the game became more open and expansive.
The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes when the Blues were awarded a spot-kick. Striker Matt Russell duly put the visitors ahead.
Bosham had to respond and, as last week, they did - and how!
Just after the half-hour, Dowden was in the area to meet a quality cross from Adam Brett. Within a few minutes, the Reds were in front as Dave Storey was the supplier of a lovely through-ball which Brett pounced on to slot underneath onrushing keeper Calvin Negus.
Moments before the interval, the Reds grabbed an all-important two-goal cushion when Dowden was in the right place at the right time to nod home. Again the defence backed off the striker as he went on a surging run and his shot from the edge of the area thwacked the bar and came out to Bradley Miles, who fired goalwards.
Negus did well to get a hand to the drive but only parried it into the path of Dowden, who pounced to nod the ball over the keeper and in off the underside of the bar. Bosham were flying.
Any hope the Blues had of a resurgence after the break quickly evaporated as Bosham continued where they left off by adding two more goals in quick succession, Dowden and Brett the scorers.
First Dowden sealed his hat-trick; then in a blink of an eye Brett pounced to poke home after a scramble in the box to make it five for the rampant Robins.
On the hour, Dowden got his fourth with another superb finish after being assisted by Storey.
Finally some luck did arrive for the Blues with a second penalty, duly despatched by Russell, but the damage had already been done.
Storey grabbed a seventh for the Reds late on and the scoring ended with a consolation strike for the Blues from Andrew Dean.
Bosham could revel in a fine performance and an extension of their lead at the top of the premier division. Newtown, who host Bosham in the return fixture this week, will hope they can wipe away the memories of this huge setback.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Moore, Blanshard, Edgington, Miles, Dowden, Storey, Redman, Wilson, Brett. Subs: Jack Hancock, Huntley, Cooper, Docherty
Lavant 3 Faygate 2
Lavant completed back-to-back victories for the first time this season with a 3-2 win over bottom side Faygate.
The hosts started well, pressing high up the pitch and looking to get in behind the defence. However, Lavant failed to capitalise on their territorial advantage with a poor final ball in the attacking third or a failure to not moving the ball quick enough.
After 35 minutes, Lavant were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal as Faygate countered with their first meaningful attack of the half and a Faygate forward finished superbly from the edge of the area.
In the second half it was clear Lavant had to change something and introduced targetman Dan Mortimer, which also resulted in a change of shape. While the home side adjusted, Faygate capitalised with a long ball over the top - and with indecision in the back-line, the Faygate forward tucked away his second of the game.
Lavant’s response was quick, good work by Neville feeding James Sandford down the left, a low driven cross into Mortimer, who finished first time and cutely into the bottom corner.
Lavant, now in the ascendancy, soon levelled, Mortimer turning the provider and Sandford racing clear to poke home past the stranded keeper.
Further chances came and went but captain Sandford won the game with a spectacular curled effort from the edge of the box to ensure Lavant came away with all three points.
LAVANT: Sanson, Spann, Lyttle, Wright, Lillywhite, Houghton, Gabb, Hancock, Neville, Haslam, Sandford. Subs: Purgavie, Holmes, Mortimer, Bartley.
Wheatsheaf 15 Slinfold 2
Division 5 Charity Cup
Wheatsheaf demolished Slinfold to breeze into the semi-finals.
The game was switched to the 3G surface at Arun Leisure Centre to ensure the game would beat the weather.
Wheatsheaf raced into a three-goal lead before Slinfold got back into it with two in reply.
From that point, Wheatsheaf dominated in every department and in a rare start for Woolston and Boxall as a partnership up top, they repaid their manager’s faith with a master class in finishing.
Woolston grabbed six including an individual effort that saw him pick the ball up in his own half, dribble round several players and chip the keeper from 30 yards. Boxall went one better, scoring seven to continue his feat of scoring in every game he’s played for the club.
A goal from Stuart Mercer on his return to the side and a fantastic team effort finished by R Mercer ensured Sheaf’s place in the last four.
The West Sussex League has been forced to abandon its biggest cup competition - the Centenary Cup - after weeks of bad weather.
The decision was made by committee members after it became clear it would be nigh-on impossible for some teams to fulfil its remaining fixtures before May 1 when all games must be completed.
It’s the fourth time the cup has been cancelled in its 19-year history and the second consecutive season tthe league has been forced to cut short the tournament, which involves teams from all 11 divisions.
Last season the league were forced to scrap all of their cups, something they still haven’t ruled out this year.
In an email to all clubs, league secretary Chris Bridges said: “If these (cup) games are not played as scheduled then we are looking at cancelling all the rest of the cups again. It is not something I want to do but we are running out of Saturdays and pitch availability.”
Any decision regarding further cancellations won’t be taken by lightly by the league as it would likely hit them financially as they would lose out on cup-final revenue and could also be forced to waive next season’s entry fees.